The North Adams Shoe Company was established in North Adams in 1889 by the Weber brothers. The five brothers who created the company, due to their love of the trade along with their father’s skilled work in the shoe industry, were A. C. Weber, William J. Weber, Theodore E. Weber, Emmett C. Weber, and Arthur J. Weber. The family first bought a building on Holden Street which used to be the home to a wooden factory, previously owned by W. G. Cady.
However, as the company grew, so did the necessity of having a building that could contain the capacity of the workload and storage of materials. Great success in the company, in turn, caused the wooden factory building to be relocated to the old Sampson factory, where a brick addition was built (doubling the size of the space) in order to accommodate the growing business. The quality and price of a shoe produced at the North Adams Shoe Company, for the price, was competitive with any shoe company in the United States. This was because the company had the latest shoe making machinery and technology and, with these technical capabilities, they were able to create footwear that was not as costly as it would be for many other shoe companies to produce their type of product.
In 1898, the company had 12 traveling salesmen, who kept a lookout for the newest trends in shoe fashion and in order to stay ahead of the competition. The Weber brothers were constantly aware of the public demand for shoes that were modern and up to date. It is for this reason that they also establisehd a retail shop located in downtown North Adams, at 82 Main Street. The store was contemporary looking, in order to match the quality in which their shoes were produced. On a larger scale, although materials were stored in North Adams and packaged there as well, the finished product was also shipped directly to retail stores, including every major city across the United States.
Economically, the town was prospering and the Weber brothers’ company contributed greatly to this success with the jobs at their factory. In fact, when the Weber brothers were offered a plot of land in Pittsfield to create additional space for their business, they politely declined because they believed so heavily in the strenght of the rapidly increasing local North Adams economy .
The Weber brothers and their businesses contributed greatly to the stellar reputation that North Adams had during the late 1800s and early 1900s as a lively and prosperous industrial town.